3 Easy Ways To Stay Fit While Traveling The World

by Stephanie Walsh · 12 comments

in The Digital Nomad Life, Travel Thoughts

Biking in Valle de la Muerte, Atacama Desert, Chile

The world is just not designed for wandering nomads.

From 1-2 year phone contracts to yearly gym memberships, it’s hard to find anything tailored to the wandering traveler types who are constantly on the move.

With the constant moving and upheaval of your life every few days or weeks, it can be extremely hard to stick to a routine. And if you’re a digital nomad working online while traveling, it can be difficult enough to find time to work on your projects, never-mind exercise.

So what can you do? We’re travelers; we improvise on what we’ve got and find ways to make the system work for us.

So here are my 3 tips to help you keep in shape while traveling the world. All you need now is the motivation to get exercising!


Fit Tip 1: Stay In Accommodation With A Gym

This is one of the best reasons to embrace the life of slow-travel. When you move from place to place every few days you don’t have the luxury of renting an apartment for a few weeks or months.

One of the easiest ways to stay fit while traveling, without committing to a gym membership, is to rent a place with an in-house gym.

I know what you’re probably thinking, ‘yikes, I couldn’t afford that while traveling!’. However, unknown to a lot of people, having the luxury of a gym in your apartment building is not that expensive in many parts of the world, by Western definition of the term ‘expensive’.

In fact, right now I’m writing this article from my rented apartment in Santiago (a very expensive city compared to other major cities in Latin America), but we have a small gym, rooftop pool, sauna, jacuzzi and 24 hour reception in our building. Not bad huh? And the price? Just under $1,200 USD for two bedrooms between three people, including all bills (and 40MB broadband!). I’m just guessing, but I’ll assume that $400 (~300 EUR) per person per month for an apartment in a great location with all of the above mentioned facilities is a lot cheaper than what you are currently paying in the USA, Europe, Australia or New Zealand?


Fit Tip 2: Make The Most of Local Parks/Hills

Easy ways to stay fit while traveling

After attempting to 'run' up Cerro San Cristobal in Santiago, Chile.

If you’re traveling through a city, it will most likely have a local park where you can do some exercise, or a famous spot where all the local runners jog. Running through a city is also a fantastic way to get to know the area, and you can enjoy the freedom of exploring the city for the first time without a bag, camera or backpack weighing you down. And if you discover an area that you’d like to come back to later with your camera, you already know where it is.

Check Facebook for local running/exercise groups or search for outdoor fitness classes which are often organized in various cities. Also ask local expats for tips on the best places to go running in a new city, and make new running buddies at the same time!


Fit Tip 3: Budget Exercise FTW!

Budget exercise? ‘What’s that?’, I hear you ask. Just like our ‘budget learning to surf’ adventure in Sayulita, we have been known to take ‘budget exercise’ route. Being the cheap-o budget travelers that we are, we can’t resist the opportunity to do something that most normal people pay for, for free.

So once again we took to Youtube to try out some online fitness routines! Youtube is full of amazing exercises and classes, so if you’ve got the space, and are willing to look like a bit of a weirdo jumping around your hotel/hostel room, or even weirder, out in public somewhere, then go for it! If it keeps you fit and healthy, and with some loose change in your pocket, then why not!


How do you stay fit while traveling? I’d love to know your personal tips and tricks!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Naomi September 18, 2014 at 5:21 am

I generally just run but if there’s a local activity that I can get my sweat on to such as salsa in Colombia or surfing then I’ll do that too. I love Youtube videos (Yoga with Adriene is one of my favourites) and the Nike Training Club App is great too. Otherwise, I try to walk as much as possible.
Naomi recently posted..The two types of travellers I hate in ColombiaMy Profile


2 Stephanie Walsh September 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Oh yeah I love doing local activities too! When we stayed in Sayulita for a month to learn to surf, we got really fit, as we were doing it almost every day! Doing fun activities while learning a new skill is definitely the most fun way to stay fit and healthy! 🙂 I must check out those Youtube Yoga videos as I’ve always wanted to start yoga! Thanks for the great tip!


3 Cassandra September 18, 2014 at 5:23 am

You have a decent gym, rooftop pool, sauna, and jacuzzi?! Europe’s high prices make me run away from a gym membership, but it sounds like you guys have got it made!
Cassandra recently posted..Castillo Time in Cartagena, ColombiaMy Profile


4 Stephanie Walsh September 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Yeah for the price, it’s amazing! Pity it’s been winter for the majority of the time we’ve been here, so we’ve only gotten to use the pool 2 or 3 times back when we caught the tail-end of summer. Can’t complain though! You should move to South America 😉


5 Hung Thai February 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

I find that traveling in itself is exercise, especially if you live in a place that caters to walking like Europe, Japan, Taiwan, etc. There were many times we walked the whole day – no joke. When I’m on the road I’m actually a lot more active.
Hung Thai recently posted..Brave New Yorker tells all: Manhattan is SMALL! and other local travel tipsMy Profile


6 Stephanie Walsh February 18, 2016 at 10:35 am

Hi Hung, thanks for commenting. That’s very true. We’re currently in Rio de Janeiro and it’s definitely an ‘active city’, the lifestyle here is all about the outdoors; beach, hikes, trails, surfing, skateboarding, you name it! We’ve really enjoyed having a more active lifestyle here! 🙂


7 aziz @dubairentalboat April 3, 2016 at 8:13 am

Nicely written post with beautiful photos, really enjoyed it.


8 Rob @ Money Nomad May 18, 2016 at 8:17 pm

This is a great list! We are spending the summer in Costa Rica and exercise is definitely a tricky thing to come by – especially when it’s crazy hot!

For us, simply having to walk into town ads a bit of exercise – as does, as you mentioned, finding local activities (surfing, hiking) to keep in shape.

Great post and awesome blog! I look forward to reading more.


9 voyage sur mesure au vietnam March 31, 2017 at 3:20 am

very nice. It will be very useful for my upcoming trip


10 kenny December 24, 2018 at 4:08 am

I want to use it while traveling in USA! So peaceful and I love the tips! Hope to be there someday soon.


11 john winson March 4, 2019 at 2:14 am

Informative & well explained article. Great tips. Thanks for sharing such an valuable article.


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